Being There: an introduction to listening and counselling skills


If you are involved in any form of helping relationship – for example, nursing, teaching, support work, youth work or pastoral care – and want to develop your listening and communication skills, this course is for you.  It is also a suitable introductory course for those who are considering training as counsellors.

The course is open to anyone who has an interest in working with people.  You do not need any previous experience of listening to or supporting others.  It is, however, important to recognise that a small part of the content of this course is Christian in its perspective and that in addition to covering the same ground that any good listening skills course would address, we also include topics that will be particularly relevant for those working in a pastoral context.

Good listening lies at the heart of any effective helping relationship and this course will enable you to identify and develop the skills you already have as well as to acquire new ones.  You will explore the personal qualities needed to be a good listener, you will learn about the importance of listening to yourself as well as to others and you will be invited to embark on a gently challenging journey of self-discovery.

You will be introduced to a range of basic listening skills and will also have the opportunity to explore some of the difficulties and sensitive issues you may encounter as a listener, such as maintaining confidentiality, holding appropriate boundaries and dealing with people’s defences.

What form will the sessions take?

This is a 12-week training course that will take place during the Autumn Term 2021, on a Wednesday evening, between 8th September and 1st December (half term 27th October).

Each session will last for two and a half hours – from 6.30pm to 9.00pm – and will begin with a theoretical seminar (involving short teaching sessions, small group discussions and skills demonstrations).  This will be followed by a short coffee break, and then a listening skills practice session in small groups led by a facilitator.  Here you will have the opportunity of listening to each other in order to practise and develop the skills you are learning.

What additional work will I be asked to do?

You are asked to keep a personal learning journal throughout the course in order to encourage you to reflect on your learning experiences.  You are also required to do a small amount of preparatory reading before each session.

In addition, you have the opportunity to complete three short written assignments – an essay and a personal development profile (both 1,000 words) and a brief self-assessment of your listening skills. All participants will receive an Attendance Certificate, but If you choose not to complete any or all of the written work, this will be reflected in the accompanying transcript.

How much does the course cost?

Course fee:       £250 per person

The fee can be paid in one lump sum or in three instalments, by electronic bank transfer.

Cancellation policy: If a confirmed booking is cancelled up to 14 days prior to the start of the course a refund of the full amount (minus deposit of £20) will be made.  After 14 days prior to the start of the course the full fee remains payable.  If the course is cancelled by Network at any point, all fees will be refunded.

How do I book?

Download (below) and send your completed booking form to the Training Co-ordinator to the address on the form, or by email to:  and arrange payment. Your place will be secured and confirmed on receipt of payment.

Download a flyer here: Being There 21 – A5 Flyer

Download a booking form here: Being There booking form [21]

If the cost is a prohibitive factor for you, please contact the Head of Training ( to enquire about grants available.

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